07-11 Pelican stream new live album
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It seems fitting, upon listening to Pelican's music, that the band hails from Chicago. When Tortoise and theircontemporariesushered in a new wave of instrumental music over a decade ago it was a pastiche of genre-defying sound,simultaneouslycohesive and expansive in influence. Similarly, Pelican's songs touch on so muchfrom the canon of rock music.Never contentto remain static over the course of their almost decade long career, 2009 finds Pelican has shifted gears onceagain. Thisyear sees them on a new label, Southern Lord — a label helmed by Greg Anderson, whose own axe conjurations inSUNN, ...read more
It seems fitting, upon listening to Pelican's music, that the band hails from Chicago. When Tortoise and theircontemporariesushered in a new wave of instrumental music over a decade ago it was a pastiche of genre-defying sound,simultaneouslycohesive and expansive in influence. Similarly, Pelican's songs touch on so muchfrom the canon of rock music.Never contentto remain static over the course of their almost decade long career, 2009 finds Pelican has shifted gears onceagain. Thisyear sees them on a new label, Southern Lord — a label helmed by Greg Anderson, whose own axe conjurations inSUNN,Goatsnake and Engine Kid have longbeen admired by the Pelican camp – and presenting a new full length. What We AllComeTo Need is Pelican through and through and the apex of their creative aspirations. It is the album that straddlesmostconfidently the fine line between adherence to roots and the mining of the unexplored.
When the quartet's first full length, Australasia, came out in late 2003, it was an experiment in crushing heaviness,albeitmelodic and compositionally complex that set them apart from their contemporaries. The songs excelled in exploringlayers:where there were glacier-thick walls of guitars, there were also shifts and nuances that gave the songs room tobreathe.These nuances became even more pronounced on Pelican's 2005 sophomore album, The Fire in our Throats WillBeckon theThaw. Pegged early on as a “metal” band, it was with this second full length that it became apparent that thislabel was anoversimplification as the group had more in common with Slint and Hum than Slayer. With 2007’sCity of Echoesyet anotherstep in Pelican's evolution was unveiled. This new album showcased urgency, more twists andunexpected turns;songs withmore of a lyrical feel. And as evidenced by the post-DC-punk influenced title track, the band's disparate influenceswerepresented with increasing clarity as guitar dynamics and rhythmic interplay came out from behind the wall of sound thatwereevident on previous recordings. With shorter songs and a pronounced live feel, City of Echoes was an ode to the road:amusical manifesto to pile into a van and travel for months at a time—something they had done relentlessly.
Ephemeral, a three-song teaser EP released in early 2009, paved the way for thenew full length. Trevor deBrauw reckonstheband was once again at the mercy of “the riff” … how Pelicancould be more riff-orientedthan they had evidenced on eachoftheir previous albums is hard to imagine, but itshould be noted thatDylan Carlson, of Earth fame, lent the band a hand in re-creating an Earth songfrom their first 7”. And thatspeaks volumes as to what those “riffs” would continue to be like …beautifullyheavy.
In July 2009 Pelican ventured to Seattle to lay down a new album with ChrisCommon, who has helmedrecords for a varietyofbands, from Minus The Bear to These Arms Are Snakes.Eight songs were recordedover three weeks at Robert Lange,RedRoom Studios, and Elektrokitty. Beautifullyheavy results? You bet. Aspunishing as it is calming, What We All Come To NeedisPelican at their mostinspired and sonically adept,delivering 50 minutes of weighty riffs and textured progressionsinmomentoussuccession. This isn’tmaturation as much as it is confidence and purpose, and the latter are stampedoneverynote. GregAnderson, Aaron Turner (ISIS), Allen Epley (Life And Times), as well as Ben Verellen(Helms Alee)guested,lendingthe record organic diversity.
Fall 2009 will see Pelican presenting their new album in the live setting once again,first with a full U.S. tourscheduled tostartlate October. They will be joined, among others, by Disappearerand Black Cobra, the latterof which also sees a fallrelease fortheir new album on Southern Lord. http://www.hydrahead.com/pelican/ « hide
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